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Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets

Western techs to give cyber secrets to RussiaWestern technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found.

Russian authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and software containing encryption before permitting the products to be imported and sold in the country. The requests, which have increased since 2014, are ostensibly done to ensure foreign spy agencies have not hidden any "backdoors" that would allow them to burrow into Russian systems.

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Molecule essential to life found near newborn sun-like stars

Molecule essential to life found near new starsTwo teams of astronomers have discovered methyl isocyanate, an organic compound and chemical building block for life, surrounding newborn sun-like stars.

"This family of organic molecules is involved in the synthesis of peptides and amino acids, which, in the form of proteins, are the biological basis for life as we know it," researchers explained in a news release.

The infant star system, IRAS 16293-2422, has previously yielded evidence of sugar molecules.

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Hubble captures image of galaxy passing behind star

Hubble photo of galaxy behind starWhen astronomers talk about transits, most often they're discussing the path of a planet across the face of its host star.

But the cosmos host all sorts of transits. The Hubble Space Telescope captured a unique transit, the passage of a massive galaxy behind a sun-like star that is positioned much closer to Earth.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria first emerged at least 450 million years ago

drug resistamt bacteria go back 450m yearsSuperbugs, or enterococci bacteria, have been honing their defensive capabilities for at least 450 million years.

As a new survey of the evolution of antibiotic resistance revealed, the earliest relatives of modern superbugs -- microbes undeterred by antibiotics -- emerged prior to the arrival of the dinosaurs.

"By analyzing the genomes and behaviors of today's enterococci, we were able to rewind the clock back to their earliest existence and piece together a picture of how these organisms were shaped into what they are today," researcher Ashlee M. Earl, leader of the Bacterial Genomics Group at the Broad Institute, said in a news release. "Understanding how the environment in which microbes live leads to new properties could help us to predict how microbes will adapt to the use of antibiotics, antimicrobial hand soaps, disinfectants and other products intended to control their spread."

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New device turns dirty air into energy

Device takes dirty air and turns it into energyA team of Belgian scientists have developed a new device capable of generating power while cleaning polluted air.

The device, which must be exposed to sunlight to function, features two chambers separated by a single membrane. The air is cleaned on one side, while contaminants are converted into hydrogen gas on the other.

"This hydrogen gas can be stored and used later as fuel, as is already being done in some hydrogen buses, for example," Sammy Verbruggen, a professor at the University of Antwerp, said in a news release.

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Philippine's Duterte: Sorry, I Can’t Promise WH Visit

Duterte may not accept Trump invitationPhilippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he could not commit to visiting the White House after President Trump invited him this weekend, saying “I am tied up.”

“I cannot make any definite promise. I am supposed to go to Russia; I am supposed to go to Israel,” he said, according to Yahoo News.

Trump's invitation to Duterte, who has been accused of backing the vigilante execution of people involved in the drug trade and threatening journalists and political opponents, drew criticism from human rights groups. He invited the controversial leader to the White House without consulting the State Department or the National Security Council.

TVNL Comment:  Trump did not bother to inform the State Department before issuing an invitation to this murderer who boasted of being willing to '...execute three million drug addicts."

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Cassini radio signal from Saturn picked up after dive

Pics sent back from Cassini probeThe Cassini spacecraft is sending data back to Earth after diving in between Saturn's rings and cloudtops.

The probe executed the daredevil manoeuvre on Wednesday - the first of 22 plunges planned over the next five months - while out of radio contact.  Nasa's 70m-wide Deep Space Network (DSN) antenna at Goldstone, California, managed to re-establish communications at 06:56 GMT (07:56 BST) on Thursday.

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